Holiday RIDE launch kicks off at Humber

For the fifth year in a row, Humber was the launch point for Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (R.I.D.E.), the annual holiday safety blitz to combat impaired driving.

Each year, dozens of police officers come together with Humber Police Foundations students and media from across the city to bring attention to the matter. Humber alumnus Ashley Greco, host of the Midday Show on Z 103.5 FM and an alumnus of Humber College’s Radio Broadcasting program, emceed the event, held at the North Campus.

"My first job at Z103 was as a traffic reporrter, so I do know a thing or two about driving, roads and cops," said Greco. "I also reported on accidents and while it's always unpleasant to talk about traffic collisions, it's even worse when it's caused by impaired or irresponsible drivers. "Over the next few months, please make sure you don't drive impaired and stop someone who's drunk from getting behind the wheel."

Greco has worked to make her listeners aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, in one case drinking during her radio show and being tested by Toronto Police Services with a breathalyzer.

“Even though it was four or five years ago, I still get emails from people telling me that they remember that show and it has taught them not to drive impaired,” said Greco, a 2002 Humber graduate. “If even one person was stopped from drinking and driving, it was worth the hangover I had that afternoon.”

Humber president John Davies was presented with an award by Lorne Simon, Toronto Crime Stoppers Board Chair and a Humber graduate, in recognition of Davies’ support of the program. Davies is retiring at the end of the academic year and Simon wanted to pay tribute to his support of the cause.

“This is something that I believe anyone who comes in after me as president will support,” said Davies. “It is such an important cause, and one that we at Humber strongly believe in.”

The importance of the day was underscored by Toronto police Const. Alison Gaudino, who lost her husband, fellow Toronto police officer Randy Tallon, when driving in the U.S. by a drunk driver. Tallon was thrown from the car, even though he was wearing his seatbelt, because of the impact of the crash, and he died instantly.

“The driver did not even stop to see if we were okay; he just kept on going,” said a tearful Gaudino, who was severely injured in the accident. “Drinking and driving is not a mistake you make that you can fix later. It is a choice, and I hope people think before they get in the car of a drunk driver or drive impaired themselves.”

Immediately after the R.I.D.E. launch, police held a spot check on Humber College Boulevard.